Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Birth Control Health Center

Font Size

FDA OKs 'No-Period' Birth Control Pill

Lybrel Is 1st Oral Contraceptive Designed to Stop Menstruation
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

May 22, 2007 -- The FDA has approved Lybrel, the first low-dose contraceptive pill that gives women an option to stop their menstrual cycle for an indefinite period of time.

However, women using Lybrel will most likely have unplanned breakthrough bleeding or spotting, according to the FDA.

Women should consider Lybrel's no-period convenience vs. the chance of having breakthrough bleeding or spotting, notes Daniel Shames, MD, deputy director of the Office of Drug Evaluation III at the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

"I think each woman and her health care provider will have to look at the data, which we have explicitly defined in our labeling, and decide if this form of contraception is appropriate for her," Shames told reporters at a news conference.

About Lybrel

This newest form of birth control, developed by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, contains 90 micrograms of levonorgestrel and 20 micrograms of ethinyl estradiol -- a combination similar to that found in other low-dose oral contraceptives. The difference here: Lybrel replaces the four- to seven-day placebo pill with continuous daily dosing for nonstop birth control with no menstrual periods.

"Wyeth developed this contraceptive so that women may have an additional option to manage their cycles. The studies to support this product are a reflection of our longtime commitment to innovation in women's health," said Ginger Constantine, Wyeth's vice president of Women's Health Care and Bone Repair, in 2005 when the new drug application was made.

The FDA approved Lybrel based on two clinical trials, each lasting for one year, of more than 2,400 women aged 18-49.

The trials showed Lybrel to be a safe and effective contraceptive when used as directed.

Breakthrough Bleeding

Lybrel's labeling provides information on breakthrough bleeding and spotting.

"Many of the women that had bleeding or spotting dropped out" of the clinical trials, Shames says. "By the end of the study, only half of the women were in the study."

Of the women who started the clinical trials, "maybe 30% or 35% had no bleeding or spotting" after 13 cycles (about a year), says Shames.

1 | 2 | 3

Today on WebMD

Here's what to expect.
man opening condom wrapper
Do you know the right way to use them?
birth control pills
Here's what to do next.
doctor and patient
His and her options.
Concerned teenage girl
hospital gown
Birth Control Pills Weight Gain
Ortho Evra Birth Control Patch
contraceptive pills
Young couple looking at each other, serious
woman reading pregnancy test result